Page:Books Condemned to be Burnt - James Anson Farrer.djvu/47

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31
Sixteenth Century Book-Fires.

harlots, maintained for the most part by the clergy and their followers." "Oh! what a world it is to see the pride and abomination that the churchmen there maintain." Yet Thomas himself had held a Church living, and had been clerk of the Council to Edward VI. He was among the ablest men of his time, and wrote, among other works, a lively defence of Henry VIII. in a work called Peregryne on the title-page of which are these lines:

"He that dieth with honour, liveth for ever,
And the defamed dead recovereth never."

And a sadly inglorious death was destined to be his own. For, shortly after Wyatt's insurrection, he was sent to the Tower, Wyatt at his own trial declaring that the conspiracy to assassinate Queen Mary when out walking was Thomas's, he himself having been opposed to it. For this cause, at all events, Thomas was hanged and quartered in May 1554, and his head set the next day upon London Bridge. He assured the crowd, in a speech before his execution, that he died for his country. Wood says he was of a hot, fiery spirit, that had sucked in damnable principles. Possibly they were not otherwise than sensible, for if he died on Wyatt's evi-